Environmental Certification

The BC Salmon Farmers Association is proud to work alongside leading international organizations concerned with fish welfare, sustainability, and ocean health.

Every salmon farm in B.C. holds at least one third party certification or recommendation. Certification vary by company, but most include stringent third-party audits and public disclosure of audit findings.

Learn more about some of the certifications by clicking below:

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council, founded by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), is an independent non-profit organization with global influence. ASC aims to be the world's leading certification and labeling program for responsibly farmed seafood. The ASC's primary role is to manage the global standards for responsible aquaculture, which were developed by the WWF Aquaculture Dialogues. ASC works with aquaculture producers, seafood processors, retail and foodservice companies, scientists, conservation groups and consumers. B.C. Atlantic salmon farmers have committed to being the first region to be 100 per cent ASC certified by 2020.

Partner Organizations

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

In 2004, the WWF initiated and coordinated the Aquaculture Dialogues, a series of eight roundtables that included over 2,000 farmers, retailers, NGOs, scientists and other important stakeholders within the aquaculture industry. Together, the group committed to developing measurable and performance-based standards for responsibly farmed seafood. These standards also focus on reducing environmental impacts.

Global Salmon Initiative (GSI)

All Atlantic salmon farmers in B.C. are committed to the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI), a leadership initiative by global farmed salmon producers, focused on making significant progress towards realizing a shared goal of providing a highly sustainable source of healthy protein to feed a growing population. The international partners in GSI look to achieve this goal while minimizing the industry’s global environmental footprint, and continuing to improve social contributions. GSI companies have a presence in B.C., Chile, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Ireland and Scotland.

Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)

The Responsible Aquaculture Program was established by the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA)

in September 2000 as a voluntary, continuous improvement program to guide the industry toward environmentally and socially responsible practices. The Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) standards for fish and shellfish species are achievable, science-based and continuously improved global performance standards for the aquaculture supply chain to assure healthful foods produced through environmentally and socially responsible means.

BAP standards are comprehensive and they address a full range of issues, including environmental and social responsibility, animal health and welfare, food safety and traceability. They also address the entire value chain, including feed mills, hatcheries, farms and processing plants.

Partner Organizations

Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA)

Global Aquaculture Alliance is the leading international organization dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture and a safe supply of seafood to meet growing world food needs. Organized in 1997, the non-profit ENGO develops the Best Aquaculture Practices certification standards and encourages the use of responsible aquaculture practices.

B.C. is the first and only salmon farming region to have all of its Atlantic salmon certified by the Global Aquaculture Alliance Best Aquaculture Practices program. All Atlantic salmon farmers in B.C. are certified to the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) 3 star program. The BAP Standards Oversight Committee for development of the Salmon Farms standard includes the following conservation organizations: Monterey Bay Aquarium, Marine Conservation Society, Aquarium of the Pacific, and New England Aquarium.

Certified Organic

After years of development, made-in-Canada organic standards have been set for aquaculture, including farm-raised salmon. Like terrestrial agriculture, organic certification is a standard only a small percentage of B.C.’s salmon producers will choose; but it is another tool to provide further confidence for consumers through third-party certification and auditing.

The standard was passed by the Canadian General Standards Board in 2012. The document includes principles and management standards addressing fish density, environmental protection, governance around chemicals and antibiotics and covers the entire fish rearing process, from hatchery to processing.

In 2013, Tofino-based Creative Salmon became the first farm-raised salmon producer in North America to achieve the Canadian government organic certification. The company has achieved all the criteria set out in the Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard and is accredited by Global Trust, which conducts regular audits to verify compliance. The organic certification also applies to Creative Salmon’s Sea Spring Hatchery, Lions Gate Fisheries’ processing plants in Tofino and Delta, and major feed supplier Taplow Feeds in Chilliwack.

Ocean Wise

Ocean Wise is a conservation program through the Vancouver Aquarium, which was created to educate consumers about sustainable seafood choices. The Ocean Wise symbol next to a seafood item is an indication to consumers that they are making an ocean-friendly choice.

Working directly with restaurants, markets, foodservices and suppliers, there are now over 585 Ocean Wise partners across Canada, including BCSFA member, West Coast Fish Culture.

Aquarium Endorsements

Like third-party certifications, aquarium endorsements assist consumers in purchasing sustainable seafood. The B.C. salmon farming industry is proud to work with aquariums as recognized suppliers, and to help develop further operational guidelines.

The Aquarium of the Pacific (California) recognizes two of B.C.’s largest salmon producers as responsible suppliers. The aquarium’s comprehensive report outlines their Seafood for the Future (SFF) program endorsing responsibly farm-raised salmon.